Evening in Toorak Road

Born Kapunda, South Australia 1927, died Melbourne 1993


After attending both the National Gallery and George Bell schools in Melbourne, Shannon left for London in 1949. This move exposed him to international and European art, particularly the English neo-romantic painters and the expressive figurative images of Bernard Buffet. Although these works were of great influence to him, Shannon never fully relinquished his academic training or realistic sensibility.

Shannon’s images of the 1960s and 1970s recorded the unremarkable characteristics of the everyday: streets, buildings, domestic life and people going about their business. His concerns with structure and design and choice of subject matter reflected his interest in architecture, and were shared by his close friend Jeffrey Smart with whom he had studied in Melbourne and Europe. In the works of the American artist Edward Hopper, Shannon found a cool psychological approach to subjects that he applied to his own paintings.

In 1962, Shannon moved from Sydney to Melbourne where he rented a studio in Toorak and painted many studies of his studio, local shop fronts and scenes from the area.

By 1966 Shannon was the Melbourne arts advisor to the editor of Art & Australia, and the year before his death was included in the survey show Classical Modernism: The George Bell Circle, National Gallery of Victoria (1992). Shannon’s work is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, all state galleries and several regional galleries.